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Aug 7, 2001

What Honda Says About Tuesday's Four-stroke GP Bike Test At Suzuka

From a Honda press release:<BR><BR>The latest test session took place at the Suzuka Circuit today, August 7, 2001. Valentino Rossi(Nastro Azzuro Honda), the Honda NSR500 WGP rider, took part as the first GP rider to test the RC211V.<BR><BR>The weather interrupted testing, continuous rain during the morning finally cleared up at 2:25 p.m. Although it looked to have cleared up for the day, the rain started to fall again later in the afternoon which forced Valentino to finish the test sooner than he wished to.<BR><BR>With the rain lasting until lunchtime Honda changed the program for the day and Rossi took to the track in the afternoon. After a few laps on the RC211V he returned to the pits to give project leader Heijiro Yoshimura, and his engineering staff, his initial impression of the machine.<BR><BR>Rossi made his wishes known to the test team who prepared the machine set-up to suit his riding style and he went out again. However, due to the changeable weather the test was stopped at 5.00. p.m.<BR><BR>Shinichi Itoh and Makoto Tamada also tested the machine, as they had on previous occasions. But Rossi was the first Grand Prix rider to test the RC211V.<BR><BR>Test Condition<BR>Date: August 7, 2001<BR>Place: Suzuka Circuit, Mie Prefecture 5.85913km.<BR>Weather: Cloudy with rain showers.<BR><BR><BR>RC211V Test Ride Comments: Valentino Rossi<BR><BR>"It was very emotional moment for me, testing the new Honda GP machine," said Rossi.<BR><BR>"Because it's the beginning of a new 'Era' and I was very excited to test the four-stroke V-5. Due to the rain the track was wet and I rode the bike only in the afternoon but it was enough to understand the character of this bike. Of course we are still at the beginning of the development and we have to work a lot to be competitive but I feel we are going in the right direction and I think this project has good potential.<BR><BR>"Of course today I was not interested to the lap time and my main task was to give information to the Honda engineers to develop the bike according to my wishes. It has been a very interesting experience."<BR><BR><BR>Heijiro Yoshimura: Person in charge of RC211V development.<BR><BR>"The biggest problem we had today was the weather conditions. The track had dried for the afternoon session so we extended the test time but again it started to rain. Because of this we were unable to test as much as we wanted. The course condition was also slippery which held us back from judging the character of the machine completely.<BR><BR>"Although we had these problems, we can say that we received the necessary comments from Valentino that will help us for our next test. His comment was to the point which will help us for the future improvement of the machine, so we can say that we had a very good session after all."<BR><BR>Honda's Superbike World Champion, Colin Edwards, together with 500cc Grand Prix rider Tohru Ukawa, will test the RC211V tomorrow.<BR><BR>Colin Edwards is curious to know all about the performance of the RCV but denied he was interested in racing the RC211V in the Grands Prix. The American confirmed he will definitely race a Superbike for Honda in the 2002 season.